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Alaska 2017

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Posted 66 weeks ago

Boys’ trip to Alaska

Here is background: we have been planning this trip for 9 months.  My dad has wanted to go on an Alaskan fishing trip his whole life.  My husband and sons LOVE fishing as well.  They have been waiting till my younger son was old enough/physically big enough. They researched and decided on a week at the Royal Wolf Lodge.  The lodge has one plane that they fly into Anchorage.  On Fridays they take fishermen from lodge back to Anchorage, and then pick up the next week’s group.  They make 2 runs, one at 11 am and one at 4 pm.  They do that every week, only on Fridays. My dad lives in Colorado, so he flew United to Anchorage.  HIS flights got all screwed up, too- but that is another story.  He got in late but *did* get into Anchorage Thursday night. 

My husband and sons (15 year old Dawson and 12 year old Turner) were booked on the 7:30 PM flight on Thursday, Alaska Air (AA), Austin to Seattle.  They had to change planes to fly AA to Anchorage.   They were scheduled to arrive Anchorage 1 am Friday. 

Both my boys (like me!) suffer from motion sickness.  I have to give them Bonine before they go to the trampoline park!  We packed Dramamine, Bonine, and the wrist bands.  My husband made a choice (the wrong one!) to not give the boys any meds because 1) the Dramamine makes them sleepy and he needed them to be awake when they changed planes and 2) the Bonine makes them a little speedy, and he wanted them to sleep on the leg to Anchorage. 

The flight out of Austin was delayed.  This was because of all the smoke from British Columbia’s forest fires. Flights all day, all over, were having problems because of the smoke.  But because of the delay out of Austin, we were SUPER stressed about making the connection in Seattle.  I was kicking myself for booking a 7:30 pm  flight!  (But my husband wanted to get one last day of work in before taking such a long time off).   They finally took off 9 pm.  The boys did fine despite not taking meds.  They arrived above Seattle, but there was a plane back-up, so they had to circle for 15 minutes.  THAT got Turner sick.  He vomited.  The flight attendant helped my husband clean up the mess. They landed.  They missed their original flight, but were able to get on the LAST flight out of Seattle by running to next gate.   They got on plane and Turner was still queasy. There was another passenger across the aisle who was also sick.  My husband was having a hard time getting the barf bag out.  He asked a flight attendant for help. They got a bag out just in time, and my son vomited again.  My husband says he felt a tap on his shoulder and two EMS/Paramedics were there saying they had to deplane.  My husband says it happened very, very quickly.  He hadn’t even fastened his seatbelt yet. He tried explaining that Turner was just motion sick, but they insisted he was “ill.”  He tried to refuse to leave and they threatened him.  He and my boys exited the plane.  The other passenger was asked if he was ok, he said “yes” and he was allowed to remain on plane. 

When they deplaned, they went to the ticket counter.  The gate agent said it was midnight, her shift was over, she had had a long day, and was going home.  My husband lost his mind and demanded to be re-booked.  They booked him for  the 3:30 pm flight that would arrive in Anchorage at 6 pm Friday.  He was given hotel and food vouchers.  They told him the first flight out to Anchorage left at 6 am and if he chose, they could go standby on that flight and every other flight.  They said it would be unlikely they would make it since there were 3 of them They advised splitting up (husband, 15 year old, 12 year old).   My husband lost his mind at that, too. 

So: they are now scheduled to arrive Anchorage at 6 pm. Which would put him in too late to catch the 4 pm flight to the lodge.   Which are only flown on Fridays.  This was the information I had at 2:20 am CST when my husband first called me.  He decided the only option he had was to sleep in the airport and try to get on the 6 am (or subsequent) flight.   I called AA to demand help and get answers.  The first rep said all flights were full and the 3:30 pm flight was the only option.  I demanded to know why they were kicked off the flight in the first place.  I was FURIOUS.   The rep put me through to a supervisor.  The supervisor insisted that Turner was very ill, that medical personnel had evaluated him (NOT TRUE) and deemed him too sick to continue.  I asked where in the Contract of Carriage does it say that and we went back and forth.  I asked who called the EMS so that when we depose them, I know their names.  The supervisor told me he was ending the call because I used a legal term and company policy forbids him from continuing.  Call ends. I took to Facebook.  

I Messaged first.  Then posted to their wall.  Then posted in the Comments of every single post.  Within 3 minutes they commented on my initial wall post asking to please contact them via Messenger.  During the FB “chat” I searched for flight options.  I saw that the 10:55 am flight (arrive Anchorage 1:30 pm) had 3 seats remaining- First Class.  I demanded they get those seats.  The agent said he would try, give him a minute.   15 minutes later he came back and said he got them those seats.  That was AMAZING and I was very happy with AA at that moment. I called my husband- it was 2  hours later?- and told him the news.  He was thrilled, but didn’t want to risk leaving the airport so opted to continue their camp-out on the floor. I emailed the Lodge (because it was 3 am Anchorage time?) to let them know my family would need to be put on the 4 pm flight.  The Lodge did some major rearranging in order to get my boys on the later flight. Of course- again because of smoke I think- the 10:55 flight was delayed and they didn’t take-off until 12:30 pm.  BUT- they made the float plane and got to the Lodge and they fished Saturday and all is good and right in the world.

Posted 66 weeks ago

Boys leaving today

Safe travels, loves!

Posted 67 weeks ago